Let’s be honest. We have all had to retake a test of exam at least once in our lives. It can be worrisome because the first time taking it we didn’t get it right. Because we didn’t get enough points, or score high enough.

When we’re worried and afraid of failing that test again after we failed it, our subconscious senses danger and wants to run away from it. That kind of stress really bogs us down when we’re studying and when we are trying to relax prior to taking a test.

You are not in danger because of an unsatisfactory test score. Once you have failed a test after the first try, you are exactly where you want to be. Because now you know exactly what you’re up against. And you get to build off of what you learned in the past. You’ll find answers to any mysteries, you’ll learn new things that you didn’t know before. You’ll walk into the classroom or testing center with a secret weapon of knowledge that will grant you a passing score with flying colors. And when you get those results back that is your moment to shine.

I will share with you a person story from when I was in graduate school studying special education. I had to pass a standardized test in California called the RICA test. Which was required for me to do my student teaching. I had to pass three sections; Reading, Writing, and Mathematics. My strategy, for giving myself an edge, was taking each section one at a time, which was allowed. At first, my aim was to pass the first time. Unfortunately that wasn’t the way it worked out for me. I took the writing section first and fell short. So I decided to focus on my weaker areas first and strengthen them up by reviewing the study material that I was struggling to comprehend. And I spent little time reviewing what I did well on. Then after 6 weeks of studying I retook the writing section and I passed the second time.

I also passed the reading and the mathematics sections the second time taking them. I learned an important lesson, that if you don’t pass a test the first time, it’s best to use it as an opportunity to build more scaffolding for your pre-existing body of knowledge for an exam. This means focusing more closely and reviewing the material you’re struggling with the most and creating a stronger structure for you to stand inside for your retake. And your retake will go smoother than your first time.